The userland problems - GNU/Linux
bouncepaw
(23-11-2019, 05:28 AM)z3bra Wrote: Now we can discuss what "Simple" means for software: simple to use? or simple to code/review?
I'd strive for the 2nd, as the latter is more easy to judge. Usability being such a subjective topic.

I agree. Things that are simple to use should be called friendly or easy or something like that. Simple should mean that the thing is quite primitive. Simple things, of course, can be as well friendly.

Have I understood correctly: someone wants to create simple computer environment ignoring the things that do the same thing but are already implemented?
z3bra
He's rewriting the coreutils, each being self-contained (thus no code is shared amongst utils).

The website references software that is "simple", yet many implementations other than the author's are omitted. Even well known stuff like musl libc, suckless coreutils, etc...
Making such a list it good, this one is a bit too opinionated though.
eadwardus
(23-11-2019, 05:28 AM)z3bra Wrote: Drew Devault made a website to track simplicity of projects, (supposedly) based on the functionality rather than softwares names: https://arewesimpleyet.org.
Interesting list, sadly the list is ignoring a lot of existing solutions that meets the given criteria, and i wouldn't say that is necessarily because of superior quality of the cited alternative (for instance ctools seems to be of lower quality than suckless base, as i consider random behaviour unacceptable).

I will citate another list with similar intent: https://wiki.musl-libc.org/alternatives.html
This one before moving to git was an open wiki, so supposedly multiple people have added something in there, sadly this list is rarely modified and there are a few dead links.

(23-11-2019, 05:28 AM)z3bra Wrote: Now we can discuss what "Simple" means for software: simple to use? or simple to code/review?
Simple shouldn't be used in a context of usage, because there's no necessary link between simplicity and easiness.
z3bra
I tend to disagree, simplicity of a tool can have a direct impact on its usage.
Take a screwdriver as an example, versus a screw gun. Both serve the same purpose. The screw driver is a simpler tool, which makes it easier to use: no manual to read as long as you know what a screw is. The screw gun though is more powerful, but you MUST learn how to use it: how change change between screw/unscrew, check battery state, remove lock, change speed, etc...

In the above case, the simplicity of one tool in regard of the other is about what it can do, not how it is made.
This is the same for software. If a tool has no options to change it's behavior, it will be "simple", as in you won't struggle to use it. But the code of this soft can still be a total cluster fuck...

Software simplicity is hard if you ask me.
eadwardus
(25-11-2019, 04:28 AM)z3bra Wrote: I tend to disagree, simplicity of a tool can have a direct impact on its usage.
Simplicity of design doesn't dictate how friendly is the interface. Modern computers, for example, are the pinnacle of complexity, still most people learn to use them without much effort (currently more true for smartphones, but they are basically portable computers).

(25-11-2019, 04:28 AM)z3bra Wrote: In the above case, the simplicity of one tool in regard of the other is about what it can do, not how it is made.
Doing less is being minimal not necessarily simple, otherwise we could never have simplicity; one time that we mix a lot of small and simple things the result would always, at some point, be complexity. But we already exist in a state distant from simple (what would make everything that we produce complex by nature)

(25-11-2019, 04:28 AM)z3bra Wrote: Software simplicity is hard if you ask me.
True. The correct ways are always harder
venam
(25-11-2019, 06:02 AM)eadwardus Wrote: Simplicity of design doesn't dictate how friendly is the interface.
One part of the subject that wasn't brought up is the different between inherent/essential complexity to a problem and invented/accidental/unnecessary complexity.

Some issues are complex by themselves and it's not the software that will make them simple.
eadwardus
(25-11-2019, 06:33 AM)venam Wrote: One part of the subject that wasn't brought up is the different between inherent/essential complexity to a problem and invented/accidental/unnecessary complexity.

Some issues are complex by themselves and it's not the software that will make them simple.
This is true, because of that we should achieve as much simplicity as possible, but not more than that (that is limiting yourself).
But i would say that most of those, if not all, problems can be broken in little pieces, what makes possible to simplify things further.




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